Structural Timber Association guidance on fire safety in CLT buildings

26 October 2020

As engineers who design with timber this new guidance published by the Structural Timber Association to address fire safety in CLT buildings is extremely useful.

This important document reflects the continued research taking place to ensure that the regulatory and design guidance accounts for mass timbers unique characteristics and supports designers such as us who work in timber.

The document which outlines a risk based assessment to allow designers to apply appropriate design rules for the type of building being designed. The publication aims to inform architects, engineers, fire engineers as well as building control bodies and the fire and rescue services. Providing a common resource should enable better discussion of the risks and mitigation methods within design teams.

We are already using this guidance on live projects within Integral. For our Hertford Theatre project, illustrated, the guidance reinforces our design to expose structural timber in lower risk areas. A hybrid frame where concrete is used to provide acoustic separation, the CLT frame to the first floor and roof, reduces the environmental impact of the structure. The STA fire design principles allow us to expose CLT panels to create both dramatic foyer spaces and more intimate links into the cinema and performance spaces.